French film stars to get wage cap

National cinema funding body sets maximum wage to stop taxpayers subsidising highly-paid actors

4 December 2014
By

FRENCH film stars could see their wages capped, as part of a plan to reduce their production costs.

A key funding body the Centre national du Cinéma, has set a maximum wage as a condition of funding future films.

The group is worried that public subsidies for French films are being swallowed up by the wage bills of the actors.

The CNC will no longer fund films that pay their headline stars more than €600,000. In terms of production costs, the group will only pay up to €1 million.

A spokeswoman for the directors’ and producers’ association ARP, Florence Gastaud, said: “This is going to change the practices a bit. It will be in mind during negotiations with a ‘bankable’ actor, very expensive, we’re going to say to them ‘look you need to make an effort because otherwise I can’t get my funding from the CNC.”

France’s highest-paid stars include Gérard Depardieu, Dany Boon, Vincent Cassel, Jean Reno, Marion Cotillard, Gad Elmaleh, Guillaume Canet and Audrey Tautou.

The salary cap was one of the suggestion put forward by the former head of Canal+ and France Télévisions, Réné Bonnell, when he published a report into the financing of French cinema at the beginning of the year.

The report caused uproar in the cinematic establishment as it highlighted the rising budgets and dropping audiences of French films, and the lack of use of digital technology.

Le Monde seized on the report saying “French actors are rich from public money and a system that protects the cultural exception.”

Actor Dany Boon was criticised for receiving €10 million for his latest film Supercondriaque which he wrote, produced and starred in. Boon claims he received just €2 million.

Photo: Dany Boon starred in Bienvenue Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis one of France’s highest grossing films. Credit Alain FLANDRIN/Wiki

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